Applying for Professional Internships- Part One

When you are starting your Disney career there are a few places you can start, the Disney College Program (what I did), a Professional Internship, Part Time, Full Time or Seasonal. After I finished my college program I knew that I was interested in professional internships. While I was working at the Boardwalk I had 4 managers, one of them was completing the management PI (professional internship). Katie had the same level of responsibility as my other managers and was only a few years older than me. I had the opportunity to talk to her about her path and it was very similar to the one I was on. I began the process of researching PI’s and finding the ones that were the best fit for me and two stood out:

  • Lodging Management PI
  • Alumni Only Guest Relations

There are so many different kinds of Professional internships there is no way I could cover them all. If you want to take a look at all of the opportunities Disney offers you can, here. Otherwise I will be talking about my experience applying for these specific PI’s.

Unlike the College Program which has a very streamlined application process, PI’s can range from having 1 interview to 10, so the process I went through definitely does not apply for everyone!

So the first step when applying to any PI is to read the requirements. Some PI’s require knowledge of specific software, certain GPA’s and years of experience. If you fill out an entire application but you are missing some of these qualifications, odds are you will be NLIC (no longer in consideration). So don’t waste your time, find the internships you are best suited for.

After you pick the internships you are applying for you have to figure out what that submission requires. Some may ask for cover letters, examples of your work, references, ect. At the bare minimum they will ask for a resume and you will need to fill out the Disney forms.

When you complete all of the paper work you begin the long process of waiting. If you applied for a college program you may be familiar with this process, but PI waiting periods are even WORSE. I applied for both internships on January 15th, I saw no movement on my dashboard (Disney’s job board website) until February 21st, over a month later. It is excruciating.

For some people they may never see movement on their application until they are NLIC. It is a really tough process since Disney gets SO MANY applications. I received an email saying I had received a phone screen for Guest Relations and Lodging Management. I was so excited!

A phone screen is a (pre) screening process before you get into the more in-depth interview, but I would like to stress there are exceptions. At the end of my phone screen they informed me this would be the ONLY interview for the Guest Relations internship. So you will only find out what the interview process of a particular internship during your initial interview. My phone screen reminded me of a more work related DCP phone interview (you can read my DCP phone interview tips here). They asked a lot less “why Disney?” and more “How did your experience at the Front Desk prepare you for a role in Guest Relations”. They are definitely looking more for professionalism than Disney magic.

My phone screen lasted around 20 minutes and at the end she informed me that it was my screening for both internships and that it would be the only interview for Guest Relations. She also told me they would be in touch regarding Management Lodging. I was hesitant to write this post until I heard something back, but it is such a long process it could be months.

Disney has a tried and true method of doing things. They have really nailed down this system. Hopefully in a month or so I will have an update for you all but I just wanted to give you a little insight into the process!

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